Is it legal for my book title to be similar to another book’s title?

Asked by: Linda Lewis

Titles cannot be copyrighted in the United States. Therefore, two or more books can have the same title. However, if you use a title that is the same or very similar to another book, it makes it hard for your title to stand out.

Can a book title be duplicated?

Dealing with Duplicates

Even if you don’t use a one-word title, you might still discover that you’ve duplicate the title of another book. If the other book is obscure and out-of-print, you’re probably fine having the same title. Otherwise—that is, in most cases—it’s worth changing it.

Can you use a book title that already exists?

Much like names, slogans, and ideas, titles are not protected by U.S. copyright laws (which is why so many books have the same titles).

Can two books have similar titles?

Titles cannot be copyrighted in the United States. Therefore, two or more books can have the same title. However, if you use a title that is the same or very similar to another book, it makes it hard for your title to stand out.

Are book titles trademarked?

The general rule is that book titles (unless part of a series) cannot be registered as trademarks. The reasoning behind this is that trademarks are really meant to function as the identifiers of goods and services, and book titles don’t really fulfill that function.

Are titles copyrighted?

Copyright does not protect names, titles, slogans, or short phrases. In some cases, these things may be protected as trademarks.

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How much does it cost to copyright a book title?


How much does it cost to copyright a book? It costs $55 to register a single book copyright with the eCo system using the steps we indicated above. You can pay online with a credit/debit card or through a bank transfer. For online processing, the fee can be $35 or $55.00 for a single basic online registration.

How do I check if a book is copyrighted?

For books published after 1975, you can visit You enter an author or title and see the registration number and the year that the copyright was registered. For older works, you can contact the Library of Congress directly and either pay them to do a search for you or do the search for yourself.

What books are copyright free?

Copyright Free Books

  • The Life of the Bee (Paperback) …
  • The Hero With a Thousand Faces (Paperback) …
  • A Fortnight in the Wilderness (Hardcover) …
  • Return from the U.S.S.R (Paperback) …
  • The Blue Peril (Paperback) …
  • La Barrière Et Le Niveau: Étude Sociologique Sur La Bourgeoisie Française Moderne.

Is my book automatically copyrighted?

Under U.S. copyright law, your self published work is protected as soon as you put the pen to paper. Copyright is based on your creative authorship and is not dependent on any formal agreement with a book publisher or self publishing company, although registration with the U.S. Copyright Office is beneficial.

What is not protected by copyright?

Not Protected by Copyright:

Titles, names, short phrases and slogans; familiar symbols or designs; mere variations of typographic ornamentation, lettering or coloring; mere listings of ingredients or contents.

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What 3 rights does an author have During copyright?

Normally, the copyright holder possesses the exclusive rights of reproduction, distribution, public performance, public display, and modification of the original work.

How do I protect my written work?

To protect written ideas and stories, apply for a copyright from the U.S. Copyright Office and pay the $30 fee to register your work. If you have a script, you can register it with the Writer’s Guild of America. Just submit it to them with a check for the fee, which is less than $25.

Which creative works are not protected by copyright?

Creative Works Not Protected by Copyright

  • intangible expressions of work (ex: choreographed works that haven’t been recorded or noted, improvised performances that haven’t been recorded or written)
  • titles, names, short phrases, and slogans (note that names and slogans of companies may be trademarked)

What published works are not copyrighted?

Anything that is not in a tangible form, i.e., written down, notated or recorded, or any improvisational performances, including speeches, are not covered by copyright.

What form of expression is not subject to copyright?

Titles, names, short phrases, and slogans are not protected by copyright law.

What does not constitute copyright in your own written material?

Ideas, Methods, or Systems. Ideas, methods, and systems are not covered by copyright protection. According to the US Copyright Office, Circular 2, this covers quite a few things including: Making, or building things.

What are three things publications can do to avoid copyright infringement?

Tips to Avoid Copyright Infringement

Review and understand copyright laws and what they protect. Seek permission from the owner before using a work that isn’t yours. Do not rely on the symbol defense; a missing © is not required and will not hold up in a copyright claim.

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What are 2 examples of copyright?

Copyright Examples

  • Architectural works.
  • Sound recordings.
  • Audiovisual works, including motion pictures.
  • Artworks.
  • Dramatic works, including any accompanying music.
  • Musical works, including any accompanying words.
  • Literary works.
  • Choreographic works.

What constitutes as copyright infringement?

As a general matter, copyright infringement occurs when a copyrighted work is reproduced, distributed, performed, publicly displayed, or made into a derivative work without the permission of the copyright owner.

What is the most common copyright infringement?

Image and text copyright are two common types of infringement. The moment you create an original image, whether it’s a selfie or a majestic landscape, you automatically own the rights to that image.

How much do you have to change something to avoid copyright?

According to internet lore, if you change 30% of a copyrighted work, it is no longer infringement and you can use it however you want.